Saturday, 4 August 2012

Antipodean Antiphony

South of the Himalayas
  By the three thousandth year after Christ, although that scale of reckoning had long ceased to be used in the sub-continent, Kali's blood-drunkenness had passed, Shiva's manic dance of death had slowed to its' more usual pace and India's slow and timeless cycles of life had been resumed. Allah had retired from the field gravely hurt and his remaining supporters were only numerous and influential far to the south-east, beyond the reach of Indra's remaining thunderbolts. India and Pakistan had been spared the treacherous Israeli nuclear attack which had destroyed the major cities of Western Europe and the Eastern United States, but the subsequent Islamic frenzy had locked them into their own dance of death.

 God-intoxicated with certainty that military and celestial success was now guaranteed by the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate in Jerusalem, the Pakistanis had launched their suicidal jihad against their much larger and stronger neighbor. The consequences were predictable, but their fanaticism won the Pakistanis a greater measure of success than they had a right to expect. The major cities of northern India had been incinerated by the Pakistani missiles, and almost the whole of Pakistan had been turned into a radioactive desert by the Indian response. The Pakistani forces knew they would have no homes and families to which they could return; their sole hope and burning desire was to gain admittance to Allah's heaven by death in battle after killing as many infidels as possible; and 'though they were slain, they slew'.

 Naturally, the enthusiasm for slaughter had also affected or infected the couple of hundred million Moslems who already lived in India, so the 'inter-communal violence' made that which had happened at the time of independence from Britain appear trifling by comparison. It even exceeded in extent and ferocity the destruction which had resulted from the original Moslem invasion of India in the middle ages. There was no longer any government of Pakistan, apart from the leaders of its armies whilst they lasted, and indeed there was no longer any Pakistan to be governed.

  Indian government and military organisation was seriously crippled by the nuclear strikes, the military confusion and the civilian chaos, but it was not eliminated, and a very large and very populous land remained to be governed. Equally naturally, new leaders arose based on more or less tenuous control of armed force within particular areas; and when effective government was restored - they very largely were it, behind shriveled fig leaves of lip service to 'legitimacy' and 'democracy', 'community' or 'public service'. Indian politics has never been short of glib and ruthless rogues. Henceforth the various and mutable regions were independent de facto, although they professed de jure acknowledgment of the sovereignty of a mythical but prestigious central government, in the manner of India in the last centuries of Mughal suzerainty. Of course they bickered and fought amongst themselves, and none of these local regimes could avoid internal dissension, coups and rebellions. It would have been too much to expect that local people would be left to get on with peaceful lives; of course every form of violence and extortion, misery and misrule was rampant. Even that was not the end.

 The Moslem hordes of Bangladesh, originally East Pakistan, caught the jihad disease and invaded India from the other side. The whole north of India was roiled in strife. Blood streamed, it seemed, as copiously as the Ganges and the Indus. Indeed, both these famous rivers became polluted by radioactive material as well as by the usual rubbish, and the previously unusual detritus of war and massacre. From being life giving streams, these became death dealing streams, desolating their courses and estuaries.

  Lest it be thought that southern India, apart from the Moslem Tamil area, largely escaped the turmoil, the Moslems of Indonesia ensured that this was not so. Sensing plunder and prey, and seeking to assist their fellow Moslems in jihad, large but disorganized numbers of them took all available sea-craft and invaded Ceylon and south India. Here military forces and civilian authority were still mainly intact, the population was becoming both horrified and enraged; so they were warmly received. They managed to tie down local forces and prevent assistance being sent to the north. Enough new groups of invading bandits kept arriving to join other Moslem groups to ensure that death and destruction became commonplace. Where these roamed, pestilence and famine soon followed. Trouble continued for decades, but numbers and organisation gradually told. As Moslems were killed, even though at first they may have killed more than their own numbers, Hindu forces were gradually freed to concentrate against the remaining Moslems, and to defend against renewed assaults from Indonesia. As Moslem numbers were reduced and as relative peace was restored, the birthrate increasingly swung against the Moslems, so that their absolute and relative numbers declined in successive generations. Despite the distractions of bickering between the new rulers, enough energy remained focused on the Moslems, because of continuing outrage at their continued atrocities, to eventually reduce their numbers to insignificance. Indonesia's significance was likewise reduced by India's use of a few long range nuclear missiles to destroy Jakarta and several other cities, after which the flow of jihadis to India fell to a trickle, as Indonesia fell apart and the locals fell to killing each other.

  After several centuries like this, not much but the ability to manufacture smallarms had been left of the modernity, industrial and financial development and democracy of which those who ruled India before the Catastrophe had been so proud. There were no longer international stages on which politicians could posture and preen. There were no more international conferences at which bureaucrats and academics could boast and beg. There were no more investment fora where wily businessmen could meet their foreign counterparts to wrangle and outwit each other over opportunities for profitable exploitation at home and abroad. Foreign contacts had become difficult, even had anyone on either side of them been interested.

  Geographically the nuclear devastation of Pakistan and northern India had closed the usual access route by land to large scale movement, protecting and isolating the sub-continent and reinforcing it's ignorance and indifference to the rest of the world. For some time the rusting and rotting relics of the previous era might be seen. Children played in the ruins of factories, beggars and thieves squatted in decaying office towers and apartment blocks, peasants dug up concrete runways and highways to extend their farms.The chassis of an occasional car was sometimes to be seen being pulled as a cart by patient oxen. Slowly but inexorably, like vegetation overwhelming an abandoned estate, the eternal cadences of growth and decay resumed their sway over the life of the sub-continent, which went back to what it had known before the arrival of so many waves of interfering foreigners. The traditional caste system was as strong as ever and the people performed the ancestral rites, pieties and duties of their caste. Farmers farmed and paid taxes, artisans and merchants made and sold things, warriors fought each other and ruled the rest, priests prayed, performed religious rites and provided what education was available. There were also the wandering hordes of holy beggars, seeking alms from the people and mystical experience from divinity. The area, one could hardly say 'the country' any longer, was held together in a ramshackle kind of way, spiritually by it's Hindu culture and physically by the Indian Railways. The railways remained the largest non-local organization, they were the only means of long distance transport faster and more capacious than bullock carts, they had access to enough coal, wood and metal-working skills to keep this great 19th century British achievement operating for centuries after its builders had been forgotten. Indeed, railway workers became a well established set of sub-castes whose members followed their hereditary callings as religious duties.

  This was a country whose historical memory had ignored Alexander the Great, and recalled of his Bactrian Greek successors who had briefly conquered northern India almost to the delta of the Ganges, only that one had questioned a Buddhist missionary. It was thus inevitable that accurate historical records were not kept of events after the Catastrophe, and that there remained little historical sense at all. Those who had literacy beyond the compilation of day to day business and administrative records were more concerned with old religious stories than with more recent events, so the two were conflated and it was never clear whether an account of kings and gods hurling mighty weapons of mass destruction at each other's cities was a reference to the nuclear conflict with Pakistan, or whether this had been grafted on to a much more ancient religious story, or if so whether there had been any historical basis to the original event. So tales of flying machines and great armies battling and of the destruction of great cities by disease or lightning might have had some vague historical resonance, but were only remembered and taught in a timeless religious context.

  Physical access to the majestic mountains of the Himalayas had become far more difficult than it had been.This only strengthened the religious awe and mystical reverence in which these shining peaks were held, floating in the serene distance high over the hot, dirty, crowded lands of toiling and suffering humanity, a reminder of a higher world and for some, a call beyond the babel of tongues to seek escape from the wheel of rebirth. India's symbol of the wheel might be seen in operation at several levels, the great slow turning wheels of the bullock carts, the wheel of the law and Shiva Nataraj dancing upon the corpse of ignorance within his wheel of fire.

   Eternal India resumed it's dream, briefly and rudely interrupted, and the interruption then forgotten.

  The great islands between Asia and Australia had been formed from a jumble of principalities into two countries, the mainly Christian Philippines and the mainly Moslem Indonesia. After the Catastrophe and the subsequent jihad against India, some part of which had also assaulted the shores of the Philippines like the wave of a tsunami,  which passes away after causing grievous hurt and damage; centrifugal and fissiparative forces prevailed. The islands relapsed into a confusion of quarreling states ruled by the usual colourful collection of cunning, ruthless and avaricious warlords. Overpopulation and deforestation had eliminated the original forest and it's topsoil. Although disease epidemics had reduced population and discouraged contact between islands, so that there was some regeneration of forests, most of the wildlife was long gone, and the people scratching out a living were much less happy and more impoverished than their remote ancestors had been. Piracy and every form of brigandage revived to further immiserate their neighbors and prey upon what commerce survived. These latter-day Dyaks and Boogeymen were as murderous and ferocious as their precursors had been. Their depredations spread to the international trade routes through the Straits of Malacca and between China and Australia, so they incurred retaliation from those areas. The Chinese navy escorted vessels through these waters whilst China still had significant trading links with Australia, but it was the Australians who found a more savage and effective solution.

  Australasia was not directly affected by the Catastrophe, but the effective disappearance of America and Western Europe was a nasty shock and a loss of economic and cultural contact for Australia and New Zealand. Much of their economic life was already directed towards Asia, so this persisted, although the exchange of raw materials for goods manufactured in China or Japan or the Eastern Tigers slowly lessened as world demand fell, and these countries underwent their own changes. Yet the decline was sufficiently long drawn out for this area to retain much of it's old way of life for much longer than elsewhere. They had plenty of raw materials and sufficient industrial capacity together with intellectual capital and stable productive societies to maintain their social integrity and political and military power, which although modest, was now relatively stronger.

  The Islamic Caliphate, and the Jihad it inspired around the world changed things. Although relatively minor compared to other places overrun by Islam, there were already sufficient Moslems living there to have formed a social cancer, whose attacks were greatly inflamed by the spillover from Indonesia. New Zealand was too far away to be much affected, although their evolution into a peaceful and forgotten backwater was obstructed by violence and agitation by Maoris and lefties.

  Australia was fortunate in presenting a vast expanse of desert towards Indonesia, and a long sea journey to it's fertile and populated areas. Consequently, small scale invasions and raids had little prospect of success, and large scale jihads were directed more towards India and the Philippines. The Islamic pinpricks combined with the painful shock of treachery from within as resident Moslems, infiltrators and lefty fellow-travelers took the opportunity to riot, rape, loot and slaughter in their accustomed manner, caused a strong revulsion towards them in the rest of the population, whose rage resulted in a fairly rapid extirpation of this vermin, and a determination to assist neighbors suffering from the Islamic plague.

  At first, Australian special forces launched a series of counter-raids on Islamic islands to the north. They made friends with the native tribes of New Guinea, whose ancestors had maintained a tradition of head-hunting and cannibalism, and encouraged and armed them to attempt to recover the western half of their island from the Islamic invaders of Indonesia. Successful raiding led to a revival of ancestral traditions. The longhouses of Papua soon were competitively decorated with numerous heads of Indonesians, and ceremonies seemed incomplete without a cannibal feast on the body parts of captured Moslems. The Australians soon recruited the cannibal Papuans to join them in attacking other islands. White men with blackened faces and black men with white clay patterns all over their almost naked bodies were equally terrifying symbols and manifestations of death to the local Indonesians, and the fear and awe which their ferocious raids caused soon spread far and wide. Jihadis and local forces came to oppose them, but the cannibal cooking pot proved to be an unpopular route to Paradise.

  This change in public mood went with a realization that resources were limited and that it was foolish to waste them on enemies and in promoting self destructive behavior. The lefty political media and academic establishment became shriller and more venomous as it saw it's own power and income under threat, which lessened public acceptance of it still further. The archetypal Aussie 'battler' had never had much sympathy for these people, and the changed circumstances strengthened the tough, self reliant, extrovert, anti-intellectual and physically oriented strain in the Australian national character. It's good humored mateyness was soured by a feeling of having been fooled and exploited and then attacked by people whom they had tried to help; so the man in the street became violently angry and determined to eliminate the problem. All Moslems, lefties and their favoured proteges came under threat of political and physical elimination.

  A turning point in the regeneration and re-assertion of the Aussie identity was marked by the burning of the Sydney Opera House, that well known landmark and symbol of the arty-farty lefty past. It had been the local refuge for the surviving liberal intelligentsia and their dependents, until the 'Fair-Dos-Mates' had driven the remaining scroungers, dole-bludgers, pommies, pinko-intellectuals, multi-cultis, media queers and any other un-Australian riff-raff remaining in Sydney into it and set it alight. The sight and sounds filled a spectacular night as those inside roasted and screamed, and those outside toasted them with cheap wine and screamed in delight, dancing around their 'barbies' as they consigned these blots on the physical and social landscape of fair Australia to everlasting flames. Nobody referred to the burning of the Cathars mingled with Catholics in the cathedral of Beziers in July 1209 during the Albigensian Crusade, but the attitude that God could sort them out was certainly held in common.

  A crucial factor in the development of the new Australia was the role of 'Dundee's Crocodiles'. These emerged from the special forces unit of a Colonel Dundee, and became very popular and politically influential, organising and carrying out many attacks on lefty targets at home as well as on Moslems in the islands that had been Indonesia. The old order of high taxation to support a politicised bureaucracy and nanny state replacing the family and subverting everything decent in order to impoverish the decent people and advance filth at their expense under the rubric of'political correctness', 'anti-racism' and other lefty inanities and insanities, was weakened by the economic decline and by the change of mood towards self-reliance and self-defence. The political and cultural elite, self chosen, became so detested and reviled that their grip on power began to weaken. Dundee's Crocodiles and similar groups cut their failing fingers from the levers of centralised power. A smaller bureaucracy, influenced or intimidated by other forces, was less responsive to their will, especially after some spectacular assassinations of senior officials and politicians and celebrities by those whom they had trusted to guard them. The era of large state organisations controlling the lives of their slavish subjects, was passing. 'Death from Dundee' or 'Death from the Deep' became a slogan which terrified the remaining lefties. The letters 'DFD' marked the end of many a leftist.

  The execution of evil lefties and the rectification of the crazy and perverted institutions they had created became tasks by means of which the Crocodiles gained honour and respect, and slowly undid the perversions of leftism, enabling a strong society to naturally re-grow. Slowly the institutions that had been colonised and perverted by lefties were cleared and cleansed. State bureaucrats who advanced or attempted to enforce lefty agenda were identified, intimidated or eliminated. At first the compliant and venal political class desperately tried to protect themselves and intimidate their opponents by the use of legal and illegal power. This led to more awakening, more resistance, more people finding convictions and the courage to live or die by them. Since the lefties were basically parasites on the productive labour of others, who had insinuated themselves deceptively into power, and used it to advance evil and insane ideas which corrupted the minds and morals of the people and degenerated their healthy society in the interests of anti-human parasites, they were bound to lose any remotely equal struggle in a society not yet corrupted to a terminal degree, once a large minority became organised and energised to oppose them. 

  Education, media and the arts were likewise slowly cleansed as more and more people became aware of their evil influence and eliminated the perpetrators. It was fascinating for many to see that so many of the vicious and vociferous 'anti-capitalists', 'anti-racists', 'anti-fascists', 'activists' and 'community organisers' 'evil rights against everything right brigades',and 'community leaders' turned out to be criminal trash financed by some of the richest people and assisted by sleazy lawyers, political shysters and power-hungry bureaucrats. Slowly, parallel institutions of justice,  information and assistance replaced the despised and crumbling institutions of the state. The lefty-corrupted formal legal system fell into confusion and abeyance  as lefty lawyers and judges were intimidated or eliminated, and Crocodile Courts took over the administration of their ideas of justice. Crooked financiers and industrialists and landowners who were found to have cheated the people and misused political contacts, lobbied for favourable laws and employed the power of the state to their personal advantage were not spared the wrath of the 'People', even those who had no connection with lefties. The lefties last refuges were the bureaucracies and centres of the big cities, but tax strikes, armed resistance to tax collection with increasingly compulsory substitute payments to the shadow state of the Crocodiles, the preponderance of armed force and effective fighting power shifting to the Crocodiles and the decline of urban in favour of rural populations and values left them with little hope. After the capture of these refuges and the slaughter of their 'refugees', the leaders of the Crocodiles proclaimed their victory and the substitution of their institutions for those of the deceased regime. An annual holiday was proclaimed and special celebrations were held throughout the land, at which those who with greater or lesser plausibility were accused of being leftists or beneficiaries of the old regime, were burnt alive in the manner of Guy Fawkes.

  The new or renewed Australia was an aggressively masculine culture. Shrinking violets soon withered or were blasted by it's heat. Dundee's Crocodiles and similar groups provided an organised initiation into warriorhood for many young men, teaching them endurance, comradeship, discipline, self-reliance, and how to overcome fear and weakness, as well as proficiency in the arts of killing and self-defence in the service of their people. Many proceeded to successful careers and achievements in other spheres. These Australians were not savages; although like Lawrence of Arabia, who could out-Bedu the Bedu, they could perform on equal terms with savages and win their respect. Intellect and culture were not abandoned, useful inventions continued to be made, including Tesla-type energy devices, which reduced reliance on centralised power systems. The basic institutions of society changed back from state bureaucracies and shrill lefty media to the family and mens' groups. Formal political organisations became much less important, power basically manifested through agreements within and between the mens' groups, whose leaders were in any case likely to be the formal politicians and whose younger members practically constituted the armed forces.

  Many of these men became expert at survival in the harsh Outback, with some assistance from the surviving Aborigines. Some became expert sailors voyaging afar in small boats, redeveloping the extreme sensitivity to natural conditions that Polynesian navigators had known long before. These skills were applied in the vast archipelago of Indonesia. Like their crocodile totem, these fearsome ambush predators brought death by sea and by land. They brought order also. They had little interest in looting or enslaving the locals, but they sought out and destroyed symbols and concentrations of Moslem power, wearing down by their elusive hit and run attacks, those that were too strong to be directly attacked. Garrisons were isolated, their supplies cut off, with most of the locals too terrified to do much to help them. The protection of the Crocodiles was soon besought by many villages, towns and small islands which found it more profitable and peaceable to accept a loose kind of Australian rule and hegemony in inter-island relations, and even to help them against post-Indonesian forces attempting to regain control over the territory. Attacks on those under the protection of the Crocodiles were swiftly and harshly punished. They permitted the people to more or less run their own affairs, occasionally deposing or beheading chiefs whose misrule produced too many complaints, but eschewing attempts to change local ways.

  Over time the Australian sphere of influence extended. They kept themselves honed for war by continuous interference in the squabbles of their neighbors. They attained effective control of more and more of the seas, and their reputation alone became a potent weapon. Eventually they were able to reach into the Philippines and revive what Christian resistance remained to Moslem aggression. They came to control much of the inter-island trade, and protected Australian exports there, but would not allow much in the way of commercial huckstering and deception.

   In the opposite direction they they extended their, rather more peaceful, influence, far across the Pacific. They made a practice of long voyages, for enjoyment, excitement, and to test themselves, more than for practical purposes. Many of them perished, but many survived, and the love of adventure persisted. Centuries passed and the Australians thrived. Clearly descended from the Old Time, they were no longer of it. They were much closer in attitude to a much older time, yet with less total emphasis on war. They had craft and industrial skills and literature different from those of the Heroic Age, but somewhat reminiscent. They had a tenuous contact with China. A few adventurers took the route - not just to Samarkand - through China and Russia, by rail, into mighty Germany and learned of developments in Europe and the Middle East, but few of their compatriots cared for such things. A handful of voyagers achieved round-the-world voyages, visiting all continents. Although feted as heroes, the peoples they had visited were of little interest to their public. The occasional voyagers to Central and Northern America found little to interest them. The cannibal Mexicans evoked only contempt. The ferocious Eskimo hunters were granted a wary respect, but the cold lands of the far north and their savage inhabitants held no lasting attractions. They might have been more at ease with the Republican Americans had the latter been less earnest, and had the Australians not inherited tales depicting the old Americans as the source of everything evil, so their rare encounters produced no meeting of minds.

   Some of their voyages touched South America. There, they found a thin population of sleepily superstitious savages who took no interest in them, apart from occasional efforts to murder them in the hope that their body parts would be effective ingredients in magical rites. Those people had lost even the legends of their remote forebears, which had told of Quetzalcoatl or Kukulcan and the white gods who had vanished or been driven into the western sea, and whose return they had long ceased to look for.

  By the year 3,000 A.D., and that calendrical system was still used in Australia, a new cycle of the ages was well under weigh. The old order had passed and been forgotten, but a new, more vigorous and virile age had arisen. It was as if, foretold as a riddle in the story of Samson, from the carcass of the old lion had come the honey bees.

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